Power in our Blood

Nightstar: Hello, Cloudfur, who is this? A couple of strays found in the forest? And they asked to see me? Well, bring them into my den; let's have a look at them. You're not Clancats, are you? I don't recognize your scent – and there's a whiff of HouseCat about you, if I'm not mistaken. Don't look so scared. We don't really line our nests with the bones of HouseCats. See? Just moss and feathers. Bones are far too uncomfortable to lie on.

I am Nightstar, Leader of CloudClan. This is the CloudClan camp.

You want to know what it's like to be a Clancat, don't you? About the Code that binds us and gives us the courage to survive? About the Gatherings, where we meet in peace for the flicker of a Full Moon to share tongues, wisdom, and news? And the battles – oh, yes, the battles. I can see form the way your eyes gleam, that this is what mainly interests you: the blood-soaked history of the six Clans. The fighting skills passed from Mentor to Apprentice.

Every young Warrior dreams of going into battle. What better way to prove your loyalty to your Clan than to risk your own blood? In addition, what better chance for personal glory? The greatest Warriors are remembered by every Clan and are honored in the stars by our Ancestors.

However, don't go thinking that Warrior cats crave only spilled blood, the chill of a rallying yowl, and the heat of endless battles. Our lives are about more than just fighting. We live to serve our Clan however, we can, hunting for prey, building safe, sheltering dens for Queens and Kits, paying our debt to our Elders by caring for them before they go to join HeavenClan. Look around you: no cats are bleeding or limping from battle wounds; fur is flat and smooth, not ruffled in anger; there is no ear-splitting furious yowls carried on the air, just the purr of nursing Queens and Kits suckling, and the rumbling of Elders telling stories.

What's that? Have I ever killed another cat in battle? What a question! You still have much to learn about the ways of Warrior cats. The Messenger Code says, "An honorable Warrior does not need to kill to win his or her battles." Victory can be won without spilling blood.

Going into battle is the toughest decision that a Clan Leader can make. If I send my Warriors to fight against another Clan, it hurts me more than any claw or tooth ripping through my fur. Battle is the very last resort, and I, like all Clan Leaders, will do anything to avoid spilling the blood of any Warrior.

Come with me, HouseCats, I'll show you to each of the Clans.

I'll take you to each of the territories and introduce to these sometimes allies, sometimes enemies, and you will learn more about the battles of the Clans. Luckily, for you, the Clans are at peace right now. There is a Gathering tomorrow night, so many of us will be resting before the late night and the Journey to the island.

However, remember, we have our claws and our teeth for a reason, and my Warriors are as brave and skilled as any here. When the time for talking has passed, the battle may be the only option. And never let it be said that CloudClan cats are not to be feared when the rallying cry goes up: "Warriors, attack!"